A step to be taken in the countryside. By announcing Monday, March 22 the opening, by the end of March, of 100 to 200 “mega-centers” in addition to existing vaccination sites, the Ministry of Health intends to take advantage of the acceleration of deliveries of doses vaccines. The challenge: to meet the schedule and the target of 10 million French people vaccinated by April 15.
An agenda disrupted by the problems surrounding the AstraZeneca vaccine, whose deliveries were less than expected and whose use was suspended a few days after suspected adverse effects. All products combined, deliveries will exceed the threshold of 12 million doses in April (against 7.5 million in March) and will climb to 17 million in May: considerable volumes that will have to be sold by relying on locations and additional staff.
” Vaccinodromes are the only rational option », Affirms Mélanie Heard, head of the health center of the Terra Nova think tank, which welcomes the evolution of the Ministry of Health on this point: at the beginning of January, Olivier Véran had ruled out this option, because of travel and queues in the cold that it would impose on the most fragile.
→ EDITORIAL. The war of doses
He also recalled that the vaccinodromes had not worked during the 2009 H1N1 influenza campaign. ” A story has been built around this episode, marked by a conflict between the liberal doctors and the authorities, but in reality, the format of the mass vaccination does not pose any problem, it is even now necessary. », Continues Mélanie Heard.
The French development is also due to the efficiency of the large vaccination centers deployed in the United Kingdom, where more than 850,000 doses were administered on the day of March 20 alone. This success can be explained, according to Olivier Lavastre and Blandine Ageron, university professors at the Université Grenoble Alpes and specialists in logistics issues, “ by anticipating, well in advance, concrete problems of conservation and distribution of vaccines: the government revised its copy several times before leading its campaign with full force. “.
The United States is another example of the efficiency of large centers, with more than six million doses administered in 48 hours, notably in Philadelphia, where 6,000 people are vaccinated every day, with the help of the military.
” The establishment of vaccinodromes will simplify the flow, considers Olivier Lavastre. It is a good idea to do both in quantity, with vaccinodromes, and to have flexibility according to the profiles via the doctors or pharmacists. “
2,000 injections per day at the Vélodrome
On the ground, the Velodrome stadium in Marseille has already been transformed, since March 15, into a vaccination center, with the mobilization of around forty marine firefighters and the reinforcement of liberal nurses. If the mayor of the city has set the goal of more than 2,000 injections per day, there is still room for progress: ” 5,000 people were vaccinated from Monday to Saturday inclusive », Specifies the regional health agency.
In the Paris region, it is the Stade de France which must be converted into an operational vaccinodrome in early April, for ” vaccinate thousands of inhabitants of Seine-Saint-Denis and also of Île-de-France every week », Stated Stéphane Troussel, president of the department, and Mathieu Hanotin, mayor of Saint-Denis. Who, like the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, ask ” open vaccination to new audiences ”, Beyond the most vulnerable people who currently have priority.
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Another strategic novelty: the army will be called upon, as Olivier Véran indicated, evoking ” at least 35 centers which will be deployed by both the army and the firefighters on the national territory “. “ The army has two strengths: a centralized command and indisputable expertise in logistics. “, Justify Olivier Lavastre and Blandine Ageron. Finally, alongside the 250,000 firefighters authorized to vaccinate since March 12, veterinarians could soon be mobilized by the High Authority for Health.